European Council President Donald Tusk, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Eastern Partnership summit, Riga, Latvia, May 22, 2015 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).

In May 2008, the foreign ministers of Poland and Sweden proposed the Eastern Partnership, an initiative designed to foster ties between the European Union and six former Soviet republics: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. That August, a brief war broke out between Georgia and Russia, after which Russia formally recognized the Georgian breakaway enclaves of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as sovereign states. Seven years later, the region remains divided along these lines, with the EU offering a possible future for Russia’s former satellites, and Russia itself using military force and separatist proxies to prevent that from happening. Last […]

Presidents from Turkmenistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia at the Caspian Summit in Astrakhan, Russia, Sept. 29, 2014 (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service).

As negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries—the U.S., France, U.K., Germany, Russia and China—over Tehran’s nuclear program enter the home stretch before their June 30 deadline, much of the attention in Washington and the media has been focused on the U.S. need to reaffirm its commitment to its Persian Gulf allies, in order to reassure them that an Iran nuclear deal would not compromise their security. In addition, however, the United States also needs to develop a strategy for managing the likely growth of Iranian influence in Central Asia and the South Caucasus that would follow any nuclear agreement. […]

View of Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh, Oct. 17, 2006 (photo by Flickr user hanming_huang licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).

Earlier this month, Azerbaijan’s separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region held parliamentary elections, which were denounced by Azerbaijan, the European Union and the United States. In an email interview, Laurence Broers, editor of Caucasus Survey and a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, discussed governance in Nagorno-Karabakh. WPR: What are the dominant political parties in Nagorno-Karabakh, and are their platforms locally determined or driven by broader Armenian political trends? Laurence Broers: Political parties in Nagorno-Karabakh show many of the same features as those across the wider region: Hard to distinguish ideologically, they are instead personality-driven and […]